Most parents are not concerned about their children’s oral health until a few teeth have appeared. This is also the time they start thinking about making the first trip to the dentist. However, this is not always the right time to go. You may be surprised by how early an infant is supposed to visit the dentist, considering that the dentist needs to show you how to maintain its oral health during infancy. Therefore, it is vital to take care of your child’s dental health at an early age. It lays a foundation of good oral hygiene habits as they grow older hence guaranteeing excellent dental health.
When do toddlers start going to the dentist?
Most parents always ask what age should a child see the dentist. Dentists play a significant role in society by enhancing each individual’s oral health. A dentist’s role surpasses just taking care of teeth. This said, you don’t need to wait for your child’s teeth to grow to book an appointment. Dental health professionals from the America Dental Association recommend going for the first dental checkup when a child is six months old. This is also the age where the first tooth starts appearing. You should avoid waiting until they are one year or older to visit the dentist. If your child is six months or older, it would be best if you booked an appointment immediately.
When should kids see dentist?
It important for your child to see a toddler dentist twice a year or after every six months. This is a vital routine that shows how important dental health is. However, it is also important to support your child’s oral health at home. Ensure that they brush their teeth at least twice a day. Depending on the age of your child, the dentists will demonstrate how to go about the cleaning. For Infants, you can clean their gums using a washcloth. Parents are expected to help their children brush their teeth until they reach seven years old. This allows them to learn how to do it properly.
Why should your child visit the dentist at an early age?
First, the dentist needs to examine your child’s dental health to prevent the possibility of dental complications in the future. Apart from this, another important reason is getting your kids accustomed to seeing the dentist regularly. This will reduce the anxiety and fears that a significant number of adults have when going for an oral exam. Study shows that a significant number of the American population, about 36 percent, experiences anxiety when scheduled to see a dentist.
During the first visits, children are not put through a thorough physical examination, and hence there isn’t much prodding and poking by the dentist. This allows your child to familiarize themselves with their surroundings and get to know the dentists and the staff. In addition, children will learn to associate visiting the dentist with fun and hence cultivating a good relationship.
On the other hand, dental appointments for children can be a good way for parents to learn more about dental health both for themselves and their children. Parents get to know how to maintain oral hygiene by carefully cleaning infants’ gums and teeth. Dentists provide extensive information on cleaning, preventing tooth decay, good eating habits, etc. Additionally, parents will also get to learn solutions for bad habits such as teeth grinding and finger-suckling.
What should you expect during the first visit?
As said earlier, not much is done during kids first dental visits. The consultation is usually short, depending on the child’s age, since not much treatment is needed. This allows the child to meet the dentists in a friendly and non-threatening environment. The dentist examines most children while they sit on their parents lap and sometimes the dentist’s chair if they are old enough.
During the kids first dental visits, a toddler dentist usually examines the gums and baby teeth for any signs of infection or decay. If the grown teeth are okay, the health professional will insect the gums and the teeth that are about to appear. Any jaw and gum problems are assessed and addressed accordingly.
Dentists don’t usually do a regular full dental cleaning on young children. Most professionals prefer waiting until the child is comfortable with the office environment before introducing intrusive tools. Also, dentists prefer taking the first x-rays when the child is above five years old. Children risk developing dental complications when x-rays are taken earlier. At around five or six years of age, children start getting their permanent teeth. Taking the first x-rays at this age allows doctors to examine the development of permanent teeth.
Parents need to be active during dental appointments and should be able to ask the essential questions that would help them maintain good oral health for their children. As your child gets older, you may need to get regular advice on dental problems and procedures such as loose teeth, x-rays, dental sealants, etc. This will also help parents establish a solid and healthy relationship with the dentist. Children are also encouraged to any questions they may have when they are old enough.
Why should your child’s primary teeth be examined regularly?
You may have wondered why dental health is vital for children who will lose their teeth anyway. However, baby teeth are still as important as permanent teeth since they help the baby make movements with their face and mouth, help them chew and speak. Most children above age 3 have all their baby teeth.
It is essential to take care of the child’s temporary teeth to maintain the structure of the mouth. Baby teeth take space in a child’s mouth, and hence when one is damaged or falls out, the mouth structure is upset. Other teeth may occupy the spaces, thus affecting the growth of permanent teeth. Additionally, a disoriented mouth structure hinders the development of speech and may not facilitate proper pronunciation.
Also, primary teeth should be examined regularly to prevent cavities that may lead to further complications such as gum and jaw infections. Bacteria is harmful to the gums and jaw and could also lead to more cavities. Dentists advise treating tooth decay in temporary teeth. This prevents the risk of more complications as you wait for the teeth to fall out.
North Hollywood Pediatric Dentist
Children should see the dentist regularly or whenever they feel discomfort. It is easier to bring your child to the dentist for routine dental checkups rather than waiting for a problem to be more complicated. Catching cavities in their early stages is essential in establishing a positive attitude in your child regarding dental appointments. It is also a foundation of a long and healthy dental life.
It would be best if you let your kids adopt good dental hygiene habits by allowing them to see you brushing your teeth. Kids tend to mimic what they see their parents doing. This makes tooth brushing a positive habit in your household. Make sure that your kid goes to bed without any liquid that is not water. Some drinks, such as juice, contain sugar that may cause cavities. Finally, make sure that you bring your child to the dentist at an early age. Waiting until they are older may be detrimental to their future oral health.